An online version of a pioneering therapy aimed at reducing the lingering symptoms of depression can offer additional benefits for patients receiving care, according to a new U of T Scarborough study.
When added to regular depression care, the online version of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) can help treat depression symptoms and help prevent its return, says U of T Scarborough Professor Zindel Segal, a clinical psychologist and lead author of the study.
“Treatments work well for many suffering from depression, but there remains a considerable group who continue to struggle with lingering symptoms such as sleep, energy or worry,” he says.
Clinical data shows that in the absence of treatment, these patients face a significantly higher risk of becoming fully depressed again, notes Segal.
“Patients with these residual symptoms face a gap in care since they are not depressed enough to warrant re-treatment, but receive few resources for managing the symptom burden they still carry.”
The digital version of MBCT, called Mindful Mood Balance (MMB), is an online adaptation of the effective treatment developed by Segal and his colleagues. It combines the practice of mindfulness meditation with the tools of cognitive therapy to teach patients adaptive ways of regulating their emotions. The practice of mindfulness meditation helps patients observe rather than act automatically to any thought, feeling or sensation that comes to mind, setting them up for being able to choose how best to respond, explains Segal.
“Our goal has always been for people to develop skills that they could continue to rely on once treatment had ended,” he says.
While research indicates that MBCT is as effective as antidepressant medication in preventing relapse, access remains limited and nearly impossible for those living outside large cities.
“What drove us to develop MMB is to improve access to this treatment. The online version uses the same content as the in-person sessions, except people can now avoid the barriers of cost, travel or wait times, and they can get the care they need efficiently and conveniently,” he says.
Segal, along with colleagues Arne Beck (Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Research) and Sona Dimidjian (University of Colorado Boulder), received a $2 million grant in 2015 from the National Institute for Health (NIH) in the U.S. to develop MMB. The program was tested in a randomized clinical trial of 460 patients in clinics at Kaiser Permanente Colorado, a large American HMO in Colorado.
The results of the study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, found that adding MMB to depression care offered by Kaiser led to greater reductions in depressive and anxious symptoms, higher rates of remission and higher levels of quality of life compared to patients receiving conventional depression care alone.
“An online version of MBCT, when added with usual care, could be a real game changer because it can be offered to a wider group of patients for little cost,” says Segal.
Segal admits that even with the positive results, there is work to be done. A common trade-off with online programs is that drop-out rates tend to be higher than in-person treatment. An important next step is looking at ways to cut down on the dropout rate.
“The higher rates of dropout are somewhat offset by fact that you can reach many more people with online treatment,” he says. “But, there’s still room for improvement and we will be looking at our user metrics and outcomes for ways to make MMB more engaging and durable.”
The Latest Updates from Bing News & Google News
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Physical therapy defections add another challenge to nursing home staffing
There’s a shortage of physical therapists in all settings, including hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes, and it’s likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
- Is Online Therapy Effective?
In an era where digital solutions are revolutionizing various aspects of our lives, the domain of mental health care is no exception. Telehealth, particularly ...
- Couples Retreat Streaming: Watch & Stream Online via Netflix
Couples Retreat is a 2009 American romantic comedy film directed by Peter Billingsley. The story takes place in Eden, a tropical paradise where four couples embark on a vacation that unexpectedly ...
- Out with the old playbook: Why gene therapy demands a novel approach to launch
As gene therapy product launches continue to evolve, healthcare brands need more than traditional launch strategies to succeed in the space.
- Michael B. Jordan Had to Seek Therapy to Get Out of the Depressive State After Playing Killmonger In ‘Black Panther’
A short clip of Michael B. Jordan sharing the downsides of completely diving into an acting role has taken social media by storm. The Hollywood ...
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
[google_news title=”” keyword=”online therapy” num_posts=”5″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Cyclone ‘Michaung’ brewing over Bay of Bengal, may turn into depression on Dec 5
Seven coastal districts in Odisha have been put on alert amid a low-pressure area over the South Andaman Sea, which is likely to intensify into a depression and eventually into a cyclone by December 2 ...
- Man sentenced to 7 years in jail, 40 years after raping a girl who later suffered from depression and died by suicide
A 60-year-old man has been sentenced to seven years in jail after pleading guilty to raping a 13-year-old girl 40 years ago. The victim, who later suffered from trauma and depression, took her own ...
- Depression may form over Bay of Bengal around tomorrow; cyclone formation during subsequent 48 hrs
Bhubaneswar: The low pressure area over the Bay of Bengal is likely to intensify into a depression around tomorrow while the system may become a cyclonic storm during the subsequent 48 hours, the ...
- Link between stress and autoimmunity: New insights into depression from mice to humans
Study investigates the link between stress and autoimmunity, finding a correlation between higher levels of serum and brain-reactive antibodies and depression-like behaviors in mice and humans with ...
- Ryan Lochte and Wife Kayla Rae Reid Nearly Divorced Amid His Depression After Not Qualifying for the Olympics
Ryan Lochte had a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. While speaking with Cheryl Burke on her Sex, Lies, and Spray Tans podcast, the 39-year-old former Olympic swimmer revealed that he is 60 ...
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
[google_news title=”” keyword=”depression” num_posts=”5″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]